Discussion

Rob dixon 01 Rob Dixon · Author · added over 1 year ago
Hi all,

The funding deadline for NooSpace on Inkshares ends today, and I’m afraid it didn’t make the cut. But that’s OK. 

I’m finishing the first draft anyway, using NaNoWriMo as the impetus to write a bit faster than usual. When it’s done, I’m determined to get it edited, revised, and published the old-fashioned way.

VR-themed novels might see a resurgence next year, when the film version of Ready Player One comes out, so I’d like to try to get it in people’s hands by then. Wish me luck!

I’ll stay in touch by email from time to time, to let you know how things are progressing. You can also keep tabs on my author website at http://robertleedixon.com.

Thanks again for your support for my book! It really means a lot to me that so many of you put up your hard-earned cash (which should be refunded shortly) to help me get this project done. I’ll let you know as soon NooSpace gets published in any form.

All my gratitude,
Rob

P.S. If you pre-ordered and didn’t claim your free NooCash cryptocurrency yet, just let me know. Some of you have already received it. I have written excruciatingly detailed instructions for those who haven’t.
Rob dixon 01 Rob Dixon · Author · added almost 2 years ago
Hi all,

Just a quick update to let you know that progress on NooSpace is accelerating. I’ve slowed down on the marketing side of things because... well... writing! 

It’s November again which means, as most writers know, NaNoWriMo is back. 

I’m using NaNo as an excuse to write a ton of NooSpace chapters -- maybe even enough to complete the first draft. The whole story has been outlined for a while, so it should just be a matter of getting words on paper.

Knowing that so many of you have pre-ordered the book gives me a LOT more motivation to get this done!

I won’t neglect marketing completely. NooSpace still has 3 weeks until its Inkshares funding deadline. I have a new promo idea that I’ll try next week.

Meanwhile, those of you who have pre-ordered should keep an eye out for an email in the next few days. It’s time to get your NooCash cryptocurrency (if you want it).  The email will contain details about how to claim it. Hint: you’ll need to get an Ethereum wallet account first -- the email will have full instructions.

Thanks again for your support! 

Rob
Rob dixon 01 Rob Dixon · Author · added almost 2 years ago
Hi all,

I was planning on an extra marketing push to help NooSpace during this "extra week" of the contest, but life has gotten in the way. 

We live north of San Francisco and, while the fires aren’t threatening us directly, we’ve been helping some folks, and we’re supporting a houseful of displaced guests at the moment. 

I’ll be able to focus on getting new readers for NooSpace again next week -- there’s still more than a month to get us to the 250 copy threshold for publication.  And I’ll send everyone emails with instructions for getting your free NooCash cryptocurrency in the next few days.

Thanks for your patience, and let’s all pray for some (completely unlikely) California rain!

Rob
Rob dixon 01 Rob Dixon · Author · edited almost 2 years ago · 1 like
Warning: Geek Post!

NooSpace is a near-future science fiction novel. I wanted the tech to be grounded in what might be available in the next decade or two. So there aren’t any neural/brain implants, or fictional VR characters who materialize in real life. It’s more about the ways that converging technologies like VR, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, cryptocurrency, and biohacking.
 
I’m currently at the Oculus Connect Conference in San Jose, CA. For those who don’t know, Oculus is the company that re-popularized VR a few years ago with their Rift headset.

Today, Oculus announced a new headset product called the Oculus Go. It actually includes some of the features I’ve been predicting in the NooSpace novel -- but sooner than I expected.

For one thing, it has its own built-in processor and it’s wireless. Its motion tracking sensors are on the headset, so you don’t need external sensors placed around the room. You still need to hold controllers in your hands to track hand movement. But otherwise, you just put the rig on your head, and you’re ready to go.

The starting price for the Oculus Go is only $199, so they should sell a lot of them. Facebook, Oculus’ parent company, says they want to get one billion users into VR in the next few years with low-cost headsets like these. That’s pretty ambitious... but they might get close. 
 
Could we soon see a world where most people spend a lot of time in VR? How might that affect families, personal relationships, work life, and public spaces? Those are some of the things NooSpace tries to address -- in the most entertaining way possible of course. :)

Cheers, Rob

Rob dixon 01 Rob Dixon · Author · added almost 2 years ago

It’s official: NooSpace has become the first science fiction novel with its own cryptocurrency!

In the book, the virtual world is powered by a Bitcoin-like currency called NooCash that’s used to buy and sell goods, services, and real estate in VR.

Now, NooCash is “real.” I have created it as a token on the Ethereum platform. That means that if you have an online wallet that supports Ethereum, you can collect and send NooCash.

Now, everyone who pre-orders NooSpace on Inkshares will get free NooCash as a reward! It’s a fun thank you gift for all you existing supporters too. Look for an email with more details in a day or two.

What is NooCash good for? Not much. Yet.

Frankly, it has no cash value today, and there’s a chance that it never will.

But it’s still worth your while, for many reasons:

  • If you’ve never used cryptocurrency before, this is an easy way to start. A pre-order gets you free NooCash! It’s not as scary as Bitcoin or Ether. :)
  • In the future, you might be able to cash in your NooCash for real stuff, like NooSpace-themed goods, new ebooks, digital downloads, or product discounts.
  • There are grander plans afoot to provide even more uses for NooCash. It might even help fund a real VR game based on NooSpace. More news soon!

In one sense, NooCash is like a reward points system. When you order the book you get points (NooCash) that you could use to select gifts in the future.

More details about this giveaway are here on my blog site. Here’s my official Twitter announcement too -- please like or retweet it if you can.

I’m still giving away free real estate in VR to a lucky reader too.  

The world of NooSpace is becoming real, one step at a time. Thanks again for your support!

Rob

P.S. Here’s the reward structure:

  • Virtual Reader (1 eBook) =>; 50 NooCash
  • Real World Reader (1 paperback) =>; 100 NooCash
  • Super Awesome Reader (3 paperbacks) =>; 300 NooCash
Rob dixon 01 Rob Dixon · Author · added almost 2 years ago
It’s promotion time!

I really appreciate all of you who are supporting NooSpace! Everyone will get a copy of the book when it’s published, but publication can take a while, so there must be something else I can offer.

The standard promotion by other authors is an Amazon gift card giveaway once the book hits a pre-order limit.

That’s great, but I’d rather do something that fits with the Virtual Reality theme of NooSpace itself.

NooSpace is a 3D virtual world, owned by its players and backed by the blockchain, the same technology that powers Bitcoin.

For months, I have followed a similar VR-on-the-blockchain project called Decentraland. Like NooSpace, Decentraland will let people buy plots of virtual land and create their own structures and immersive 3D experiences on it. 

Their project has just begun, so you can’t go online with it yet. But the Decentraland team just raised over US$25 million, so their Metaverse will get built in one form or another.

So here’s the promotion: Everyone who pre-orders the NooSpace novel has a chance to win their own plot of virtual land in Decentraland! 

I will buy the land for you, and also build a 3D scene there straight from the NooSpace novel. You will have your choice of one of these scenes:

  • Princess Kara’s Meadow (unicorn included!)
  • The Zen Garden (complete with fire golem!)
  • The Escher Maze
  • Trevor’s Wasteland
  • Thug Porn Mansion (nudity not required)
  • Riello’s Gauntlet Dance Garden

I’m open to other suggestions too -- even one of your own design -- as long as it’s not too complex. I already own MANA (the Decentraland cryptocurrency) to buy the land, and I can create the 3D content there for you to enjoy.

When the NooSpace novel gets funded, I will randomly award a lucky supporter their own slice of NooSpace in VR! (Or, the winner can choose an Amazon Gift Card worth $50 instead. But wouldn’t owning your own virtual space be more fun?)

Here’s a video about Decentraland, just to get you more excited.

Please repost and retweet this, if you are so inclined, to spread the word.

I have another promotion in the works too, which might be slightly more awesome. More about that next week.

Cheers, Rob



 

Rob dixon 01 Rob Dixon · Author · edited almost 2 years ago · 1 like

Hi all!

First, some quick news: I’ll announce the first, unique VR-related promotion for NooSpace tomorrow! Keep your eyes peeled. 

Meanwhile, here’s some world-building info about NooSpace itself. It’s a little geeky... but go ahead, indulge yourself.

I always enjoy the maps in fantasy and science fiction novels. I’ll often peruse a map in detail before reading the book, to help set the stage. So I’ve worked up a map for the first floor of NooSpace’s OldWorld dimension. It ain’t pretty yet -- the idea is to have a real artist create a nicer version one day.

But first, some background.

NooSpace is a virtual world where each player owns an area (or group of areas) within which they can create their own 3D environments, characters, objects and programming. Surrounding each person’s space is a community environment where players can interact, participate in events, go shopping, or just travel around.

Axon and Miranda, who you’ve met in the first chapters, handle tech support in this world, helping players create and maintain their spaces. And stopping break-ins too, of course.

Each player space has two parts: an external facade, and an internal private area. The facade is public and can be seen by everyone. The internal space is private, and accessible by invitation only unless the owner decides to make it public (as many owners have).

 

The player can create their own 3D facade -- within the design and decency guidelines of the NooSpace floor they are on -- though most choose to use stock templates like Western Store, Victorian Home, Art Deco Office, and so on.

The interior of each space can be set to a different scale than the outside, so players can create huge interior environments if they want. Whereas a standard space is 20 meters wide, the interior of that space can be up to 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) wide, a 1:100 scale. Each facade has a door, and when a player steps through the door their visual scale changes, and they see the huge interior space at normal size. Players who purchase adjacent spaces can create virtual worlds that are many kilometers in each direction.

NooSpace began with a single "floor" with a pre-planned layout. The following image shows the central area where the early action happens in the NooSpace novel. 

I’ve posted the full map of Floor 1 on my blog, if you want to check it out. 

Look for another update tomorrow!

Rob

Rob dixon 01 Rob Dixon · Author · added almost 2 years ago

 

It seems a little backwards to crowdfund my novel before it’s finished. I’m expecting a lightning strike from above to punish me for hubris.

I wouldn’t have posted NooSpace here if it wasn’t for the LaunchPad Manuscript ContestNow that it’s here, and I have actual pre-orders, I’ve realized crowdfunding a book is handy for many reasons:

1. It compels you to finish the book. The idea for NooSpace has been bouncing around in my head for years (more about that later). I’ve always wanted to write it, but I’ve always found more important things to do. But a deadline always works for me, and a crowdfunding campaign gives me one. I will owe it to my supporters to get the book done.

2. It tests the story concept. Most writers have dozens of story ideas waiting for their turn. The challenge is knowing which ones to write. Crowdfunding lets you develop the idea, write part of the book, and then see if people like it. If it falls flat, you can go back and rewrite it, or just move on to another project. You don’t have to spend a year writing and editing the full book before you discover if anyone is interested.

3. It helps build an “author platform.” They say every successful author should define their own brand, build a following on Twitter and Facebook, build an author website, and manage their own PR and marketing. I am generally terrible at those things. This forces my out of my shell into the brave new world of self-promotion.

4. It connects you with other authors. The other writers here have been very supportive. Even other contest participants, with whom I am technically in competition, have been open and helpful. Regardless of whether NooSpace gets published on Inkshares, these relationships should be valuable in the future.

It’s not all unicorns and roses, though. Running a crowdfunding campaign means more time doing things that are not writing the book. My recent not writing has included:

  • Setting up an author website
  • Contacting and following other authors and projects on Inkshares
  • Paying attention to Twitter and Facebook and making posts there
  • Saying thanks to the great friends — and even a few strangers! — who have pre-ordered the book
  • Writing blog posts (writing, yes, but not the book)
  • Provisional cover design
  • Cooking up interesting promotions for readers
  • ...and more.

In an ideal world, writers would focus on their craft and leave production and marketing to professionals who know what they’re doing. But first time authors would have to pay those pros out of their own pocket, based on unshakeable faith in their own work. 

Crowdfunding seems like a good middle road: a way to build interest in the book, and build an author platform at the same time. 

Let’s see how this plays out!

Rob dixon 01 Rob Dixon · Author · added almost 2 years ago
Hi Everyone,

I’m finally getting my act together and starting to promote NooSpace. I admit the Inkshares benefits from the LaunchPad contest caught me unprepared at first, but better late than never.

I’ve dusted off some early concept art (shown here and on the NooSpace front page). This shows our protagonist Axon Brennan and his brother Kaz, sporting their stylish VR glasses. I’ll share a few more images in the days to come.


I’m also working on a book trailer video.  I’ve seen some really interesting trailers here on Inkshares, so hopefully I can come up with something worth watching.

Meanwhile, I’ve made progress on the novel itself. Seven chapters are posted here already, and I’m cranking out a new chapter or two every week. At this rate, the first draft will be done... well... when it gets done. But, maybe before the end of the year! Wish me luck,

Rob